Light Room 5 Review and the Creative Cloud
Not to my liking
Searching and finding your images is easy as a keyword, as long as you tag your images you will never have any trouble finding them. Actually, all your embedded meta data comes along with your images as you import them, such as ISO, date, speed, or any other meta data you entered in the original photos, such as copyright. When I say import your photos are not actually imported in a database, they stay right where you place them, Light Room 5 simply imports details about the photo in the catalog database, and you can have as many catalogs as you desire. Catalogs are handy if you have very distinct personalities; such as a wedding Photographer, and for fun you do landscapes. You can have two catalogs, one for weddings, and another for landscapes and this helps keep your work separate. But if your lazy you can simply set up keywords and or smart categories.
With categories, you can have one click access to every photo marked with certain criteria, say “white Flowers”, or Sunsets; Light Room 5 gives you instant access to every photo in your catalog marked as such. The power of Light Room 5 goes well beyond management, you have access to development tools for non-destructive touch ups and enhancements, automating slide shows, and building web pages to display your work.
All in all Light Room 5 is an amazing tool and gives you the power to manage your photos, I highly recommend it for the price, it is still available outside the greedy Creative Cloud program Adobe is offering (More on that in a minute), and you can get a free trial.
Likes: Price, User Interface, Customizable interface, Photo Management, Compare photos (before and after), good (not great) set of development tools. I still find CS6 better at final edits.
Dislikes: Light Room 5 removes the modifiers for NEF files once you import them. Thus, if you edited your NEF photos in a third party program light room 5 will remove those settings and return the image as shot ( I have not found a way to stop if from doing this), annoying. A lot of options, sometimes I get lost and find myself looking for a grouping that is scrolled out of view or collapsed..
Creative Cloud: If you have not heard, Adobe is moving to cloud services. This has both a good and bad condemnations. For about $50.00 per month or $600.00 per year you can have access to all the Adobe creative software, in short; Photoshop, illustrator, InDesign, DreamWeaver, After Effects, Adobe Premier, Adobe Muse, + lightroom, Acrobat, and a host of others. The bad part of this is Adobe needs to validate your account every 30 days or 90 days for yearly members. What this means is if you run into a financial situation and can not pay you will loose access to the desktop software, making modifications to your content difficult, your screwed, in contrast using the legacy method when you buy a box version you can use if as long as your PC supports it – for years. Adobe needs to be sent a message, Adobe is not Adobe without customers. Think about it this way, if every software company went this direction, there is no way regular people can afford it – ridiculous pricing for rental software, I will never use 80% of the creative cloud software, I basically need illustrator, Photoshop and light room, I may on occasion use some of the other software, but the issue I see is once you start using the other software it becomes necessary to continue to use it, such as Light Room, thus if you find yourself unable to pay all the work you spent in these programs will be mostly for nothing. Example: Light Room, if you go through the tedious process of editing, tagging, descriptions, sorting, ordering, cataloging your 20K collection. All that work is dead unless you run Light Room. Light Room does not store any of the data in the photo, all that hard work is in the Light Room database.
Please send in your comments to Adobe if you feel the path they are taking is counter to affordability in a multi software environment. Adobe is not the answer to all software needs, if it was this would be a GREAT solution. You have to factor in your other non-adobe software cost and understand one day they too will take YOU to the cloud whether you like it or not. Predator Prey relationship, almost as bad as Exxon.